Change of attacking style? Not at all, says Wane

Shaun Wane is flattered by the praise Wigan's attack has received '“ but says nothing has changed!

Saturday, 18th March 2017, 5:53 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:40 am
Jack Wells is congratulated after his try against Warrington

Some observers have commented about a different approach in the Warriors’ five games so far.

They have racked up an average of 26 points a game, and thrilled fans with some eye-catching displays as they have swept to their best start since 1998.

Warrington coach Tony Smith said they have “transformed” and are “not as structured” as in the past.

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And the BBC Super League show, ex-Huddersfield prop Eorl Crabtree said they’re playing a different style. “Now they’re throwing the ball around a lot more,” he said. “This is the best rugby they’ve played, their style of play is a lot more interesting to watch.”

Wane is pleased they are earning plaudits, but insists he has not given them any more free rein.

The difference, he says, is purely down to the numbers of players he has at training.

Wane said: “There’s been no shift in how we play, absolutely not.

“We’re training like I was trying to train last year. There’s been no change in how we attack, we’ve just had people on the field who can train.

“Last year, we didn’t just have a lot of players injured, but a lot of players who couldn’t train during the week.

“We’re a training club, we need repetition, we’re not a squad with 20 or so 30-year-old players who can just turn up and do it, we’re a young club, we need to practice, we’re into detail.

“We’ve not brought any attack coach in, we’re doing things exactly the same as last year - but I appreciate the compliments!”

Wigan are widely expected to stretch their winning start to six straight games when faltering Huddersfield arrive at the DW Stadium tomorrow.

The Giants were beaten 30-0 by Leigh in their last outing and hammered 48-8 by Hull FC the week before.

“I went to their game against Leigh, and even though the score doesn’t suggest it, they did have a dig,” said Wane.

“I’m expecting a real backlash.

“Both their halves got their hands on the ball, Danny Brough kicked really well, but they do have areas in how they defend which we feel we can exploit.

“We need to start the game completing, good field position, and try and squeeze the confidence from them.”

Wane plans to give winger Tom Davies a debut, possibly ahead of Liam Forsyth.

Another academy-product, Liam Marshall, is set to continue on the other wing as three more senior wingers - Joe Burgess, Lewis Tierney and Dom Manfredi - are all injured.

Marshall, who scored four tries in the 38-16 rout of Warrington, was given a second chance with his hometown club after impressing at Championship side Swinton last season while working as a trainee accountant.

“The way he training in pre-season, he forced me to pick him,” said Wane. “Last time he was here, he was way off.

“But the way he trained when he came back, he pushed me to start him, he’s done all the tough stuff and killed everything. He’s forced me to pick him.

“I still don’t know what the change was. Maybe it was going away and working, because it’s not easy doing what he’s done.

“It’s tough. It’s long, long hours working in the day and training at night, and now he’s training as if he appreciates it, he know the lifestyle he wants.

“And I’ll be pushing for him to finish his accountancy qualifications as well.”